With the Centre expressing concern over rising as Covid-19 cases in Maharashtra, saying that 8 out of the top 10 worst pandemic-hit districts in the country are located in the state, the authorities in the state have started taking proactive steps to curb the spike. After Nagpur, night curfew has now been imposed in Pune amid fresh Covid spike in Maharashtra

Maharashtra on Friday reported 15,817 cases in a day. This is the state’s highest single day tally this year. At least 56 people died of the illness in the last 24 hours, the state government said in a statement.

After a Covid situation review meeting chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, who is also the Guardian Minister of Pune district, the administration took a decision to completely close schools and colleges till 31 March. Hotels and restaurants will have to close at 10 pm, Divisional Commissioner Saurabh Rao informed.

“The hotels and restaurants will be allowed to provide parcel/home delivery for one more hour till 11 pm. Hotels/restaurants will have to put up a board outside mentioning total seats and how many are occupied and vacant. Malls and markets will close at 10 pm. Cinema halls will be allowed to operate with 50% capacity but they will have to close by 10 pm. Roadside eateries will not be allowed to have more than five customers at a time. All clubhouses in societies will have to remain closed. MPSC/UPSC coaching centres and libraries will be allowed to operate at 50% capacity”, Rao said.

All gardens under Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) will be closed in the evening hours. Weddings, funerals, and other ceremonies will have only 50 persons. If there is a violation of this rule, then FIR will be registered and premises will be sealed, he added. The new rules will come into effect from Friday night.

There will be complete restriction on movement of people from 11 pm to 6 am. The administration has clarified that essential services have been exempted from curfew hours. Also, people working night shifts in offices will also be allowed to commute between home and office. Meanwhile lockdown has been imposed in Akola from Friday 8pm to Monday 6am. Night curfew has also been imposed in Parbhani.

The Centre on Thursday said it was “very worried” about the coronavirus situation in Maharashtra. On that very day, the Maharashtra government announced a week-long lockdown in Nagpur, one of the worst-hit districts. Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray later indicated that other districts may have to face lockdown as well. And a day later, Pune too came under lockdown, though partial at the moment.

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